Wednesday, April 29, 2009

News from Sycamores

From Ken Williamson:

The Sycamores Committee of the South Hadley Historical Society made considerable progress in restoring Sycamores and Rawson House during the past year. All ceilings in Sycamores were plastered, the first two floors and the halls buttoned up and given a skim coat of plaster and drywall added to the third floor. The ceilings have been painted by prisoners from the Hampshire County House of Correction. Landscaping was completed. A new lawn was installed last fall along with a crushed stone driveway and brick sidewalks. A handicapped lift was purchased and installed on a concrete pad. The very low temperatures of January caused the heating system to fail; a new furnace was purchased and installed. The catering kitchen on the first floor was completely renovated with the purchase of a reach-in refrigerator, a 6-burner gas cooktop, a complete set of new cupboards and a green serpentine countertop from stone recovered from the the old Carr Laboratory at Mount Holyoke College. A double wall oven and a stainless steel island on casters completed the renovation. All eleven of the heavily paneled doors and the seven pairs of interior shutters were removed from Sycamores and transported by Bob Szklarz to Lebanon, PA where the many layers of paint were removed. These were then sanded, repaired, and given two coats of paint before being rehung. We are grateful for the time and energy donated by the 14 members of the Sycamores Committee. We are also indebted to the Historical Society for the purchase of a sign that has been installed in front of Sycamores/Rawson House. For more information, click here to go to Sycamores

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Historic and Cultural Resources"


As CPAC considers and publicizes "Historic and Cultural Resources," please feel free to refer interested individuals to

- Bob Judge
Member, South Hadley Historical Society


On Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 10:40 AM, CPAC wrote:

Good Morning,

This is a reminder that the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) is now engaged in developing the following chapters of South Hadley’s new Comprehensive Plan:
Ø Community Design & Land Use

Ø Historic & Cultural Resources

Ø Natural Resources

Ø Recreation & Open Space

A Community Gathering to solicit community input as to the issues and recommendations regarding these four chapters will be held later this month as follows:

DATE: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

TIME: 7:05 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

PLACE: Town Hall Auditorium

The four chapters currently under development will address such matters as:
Ø In what form and where should we meet the diverse housing, shopping, travel, and recreation needs of our senior citizens and younger families?

Ø How should the Town balance the desire to protect its community character (historical buildings and open spaces in particular) with the need to accommodate new housing and businesses?

Ø Where and how much of the new residential development should be in low density subdivisions or higher density condo or apartment developments?

Ø How should commercial development be integrated into residential use areas along the Route 116, Route 33, and Granby Road corridors?

Ø What roles do the Falls, the Center, and other areas play in South Hadley’s economic, recreational, and housing future?

Ø What type of recreational spaces should the Town be developing?

Ø Should the Town be more active in the physical design of new buildings and developments?

Members of CPAC want to encourage you to attend and participate in this very interactive Community Gathering. Please encourage your friends, neighbors, and business associates to attend and voice their opinions as well.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Town Planner Richard Harris at 413-538-5011 or email at

Richard Harris, AICP
South Hadley Town Planner

Click her for the South Hadley "Landscape Inventory"

Monday, April 20, 2009

2009 Mass History Conference

Registration is now available online for the 2009 Mass History Conference, With Power for All: Energy and Social Change in Massachusetts. Join colleagues from around the state at the College of the Holy Cross on Monday June 8th for a day-long discussion of the transformative role of energy in Massachusetts. Cathy Stanton, Tufts University, and author of the award-winning book The Lowell Experiment: Public History in a Postindustrial City, will deliver the keynote address, followed by nine breakout sessions on topics including "green" museums, public reaction to the introduction of new energy technologies, re-introducing older energy technology such as wind and water, how to develop exhibits and educational programming on energy-related themes, and how historic sites are using lessons from the past to encourage people to live a sustainable life.
In response to popular demand, we have added an additional set of breakout sessions this year, as well as the Public Humanities Toolbox workshop, which presents a set of tools for small cultural heritage organizations to use in order to build an engaging web presence and online community, including blogs, Flickr and photo sharing, Google Maps, sharing audio, video, and documents, wikis, Facebook and social networking, and more! There is no extra charge for this workshop, but registration is limited to 20 participants.

For complete conference details and registration information, please visit the Mass Humanities website at

We look forward to seeing you in Worcester on June 8th!
Patricia L. Bruttomesso
Local History Coordinator
Mass Humanities
66 Bridge Street
Northampton, MA 01060
413-584-8440, fax 413-584-8454
Visit our new website at
Please note my new email:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

South Hadley invited to Hadley Founder's Day


Thank you for the invitation.

As you requested, I have forwarded your invitation to the other Selectboard members. I have also forwarded it to the officers and the webmaster of the South Hadley Historical Society, asking that you receive the information that you requested about the Society.

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

Bob Judge

S. Hadley Selectboard


Date: April 13, 2009
To: Board of Selectmen, Town of South Hadley
From: Gerry Devine, Chairman, Founders Day Committee
Re: Founders Day, April 13, 2009
On Saturday April 18, 2009 there will be a Founders Day celebration at 1 pm at Hadley Town Hall. We would like to cordially invite the South Hadley Board of Selectmen to attend the celebration.

We anticipate the event to last about 1-1 ½ hour, we have extended this invitation to all descendants of the founding families. We have received over 30 inquiries from many surrounding towns and states. One of the goals of this celebration is to provide as much information as possible to the descendants so they may further research their roots in our communities.

It would help us if you could provide contact names, numbers and emails for the South Hadley Historical Society so we may include this information in the printed program.

Thank you for your help and hope to see you on Saturday.

Gerry Devine
Hadley honors first settlers

Sunday, April 12, 2009


HADLEY - On April 18, 1659, a group of settlers in Wethersfield and Hartford, unhappy with some of the changes taking place at their churches, signed an agreement to leave their homes and head north.

On Saturday, the town will celebrate those families who moved into the wilds of Massachusetts to settle what was then called Norwottuck or New Plantation with Founding Day festivities.

Fifty-nine men signed that day, but 18 either never moved to town or only stayed for a little while. Many descendants of those families who stayed, who still live here or in neighboring towns, will return to help Hadley celebrate its 350th birthday.

Town officials are hoping more will come, including people who might be descendants of John Webster, William Goodwin, John Crow or Nathaniel Ward, for example.

The event begins at 12:30 p.m. on the south side of the Town Common, with a procession at 1 p.m. to the Town Hall.

State Sen. Stanley C. Rosenberg, D-Amherst, and Rep. John W. Scibak are scheduled to rededicate their gift of founding papers to the town. There will be a 350th birthday cake and refreshments at the First Congregational Church, the founding church.

The cake is being prepared by descendant Linda B. Stark, who lives in Amherst.

Her ancestors include Daniel Warner, Nathaniel Dickinson, John Hubbard and Samuel Smith.

"When you have 59 (founding) families you end up marrying each other," she said. Her family stayed in the Hadley area until the mid-1800s, then moved to Providence, R.I., for manufacturing jobs.

Stark said she didn't know this family history when she moved here in 1971 with her former husband William Patterson, who taught at the University of Massachusetts.

Stark said her sister Susan Vincent decided to research their grandmother Helen Blodgett, who died young. They traced their family to Hadley and said they are descendants of John and Priscilla Alden, original settlers in Plymouth. "It was like a shock," Stark said of discovering her family connections.

Stark plans to dress up for Founders Day. Vincent, who lives in Connecticut, said she loves old things and made a lot of costumes.

Stark was delighted to be asked to make the cake.

"I feel like a transplanted person who came here in 1971. With them asking me to do this, I feel like part of the area," she said.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Pliny Moody found dinosaur footprint in South Hadley in 1802"

Thanks to Mark Bail of Granby for posting commentary along with this story from the Boston Globe on April 18, 2009:

Elliott Eugene, George Edwin and Samuel Adolphus Judd

From: Steve Soper []
Sent: Saturday, May 09, 2009 6:32 AM
To: Bob Judge
Subject: Re: [Third Michigan Infantry Research Project] New comment on George S. Joslin.

Hi Bob,

Looks just fine to me -- and if you or anyone in your organization has any information on the Judd family they'd be willing to share that would be great!

Thanks again,


On May 6, 2009, at 15:52 , Bob Judge wrote:

Bob Judge has left a new comment on your post "George S. Joslin":


I have taken the liberty to extract some of this information at

Please feel free to comment. Please let me know if the credit I gave you is adequate.

Thank you to Steve Soper, from whose post I have extracted the information below:


Elliott Eugene Judd was born on September 13, 1841, in South Hadley, Massachusetts, one of twins born to Samuel (1806-1890) and Julia Ann (Swan, d. 1894). (His twin sister was Ellen Eugenia.)

In 1852 Samuel moved the family from South Hadley, where he had lived for some 46 years, to Grand Rapids...

Another son was George Edwin Judd, was born on March 23, 1838, in South Hadley.

Samuel and Julia were married on December 1, 1830 and by 1833 were residing in Avon, New York, although shortly afterwards they moved to South Hadley, Massachusetts where they were living by 1834 and indeed where they lived for some years.

One more son of of Samuel and Julia was Samuel Adolphus Judd, born on May 11 or 21, 1834, in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

Samuel A. married South Hadley native Clarissa Louise Smith (1834-1922) October 25, 1854, at the Congregational church in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and they had two children: William Elliott (b. 1855) and Jennie Eugenia (b. 1858).

In August of 1862 Clarissa applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 415).

In 1868 she married John Kellogg of Massachusetts and subsequently reported herself as guardian when she applied for and was granted a pension on behalf of her children (no. 125349).

Following the death of her second husband in 1887, Clarissa, who was living in Holyoke, Hampden County, Massachusetts, applied for a renewal of her former widow’s pension in 1901 which was granted, drawing $20 per month, and $30 per month by 1922. By 1922 she was living at 102 Elm Street in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Picture made in South Hadley, at the Abby Wright School - Click here

..."This is a silk-embroidered mourning picture that was made in South Hadley, Massachusetts, at the Abby Wright School. Abby Wright was a schoolmistress who had a school for the education of young girls, where she taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, and also skill with needle and thread. And that school operated from 1803 to 1811. And as you can see, we have a combination of media and techniques here. There's painting on silk, there's stitchery on silk, but what is the key characteristic of Abby Wright is this coiled silver thread, which adorns the three urns on top of this monument. And this was probably made for a family, because Abby Wright stopped teaching school in 1811, so that would have been too early..."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dinosaur tracks in South Hadley

I am researching the paleontological investigations of my uncle, Roland T. Bird, and amending his various biographical sketches. In his autobiography he describes coming to South Hadley in 1936 to see dinosaur tracks nearby and finding Carlton Nash, then a teenager, who had collected tracks -- his son maintains the Nash Quarry north of South Hadley. The famous Pliny Moody tracks that Edward Hitchcock of Amherst eventually collected (still at Amherst College) came from near the Nash place. You might add something to your website, saying just where Pliny Moody lived (I think it was at an intersection 2.3 mi. north from the middle of South Hadley at a spot called Moody's Corner). It is sort of a holy spot for paleontologists.

Thanks, Robert Bird

Thank you to Jan Guthrie of Miami, Florida

Dear Jan:

I have delivered the material to Ann Root, a Director of the Society, for proper cataloguing in the Society’s collections.

I believe that your generous donation will be acknowledged by the Society soon.

Thank you again.


Bob Judge
South Hadley Historical Society


Date: April 16, 2009
Subject: my father's items

Hello S. H. Historical Society,

I would like to give you my father's (Giles R. DeWitt) H.S. yearbook (S. Hadley class of 1942) as well as letters that he wrote home (Cold Hill, Granby) while enlisted in the U.S. Marines during WWII.

Will you take these? Please let me know soon.


Jan Guthrie